Monthly Archives: September 2005

September 2005 books

a decent 5 this month too:

60. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
61. Getting Things Done by David Allen
62. The Adulteress by Philllippa Carr (aka Victoria Holt)
63. Miss Bubbles Steals the Show by Melanie Murray
64. The Roots of Desire [heh, book about redheads]

old csa: week 16

this is, as far as I know, the last week. At least, it’s the last week I have a photo for!


kale, cabbage, potatoes, butternut squash, delicata squash, lettuce, and possibly sage.

There was a shipment of winter veggies but I don’t have a photo of that. it was mostly hard squash, some sweet potatoes, and some regualar potatoes. it was great.


I’m feeling awfully Blue lately about work. I’m tense all the time and working incredibly hard and it’s like running up a slippery icy oily mountain. Everything I do seems to be an insurmountable task. Everything I try to organize or coordinate seems to go wrong in some small way. I can’t figure out how to work smarter and faster and how to anticipate all the problems that are coming up.

Worst of all, I have a vague general feeling of constant failure. My clients are grouchy, my supervisors are busy, and I don’t get any kind of positive feedback from anyone. Which wouldn’t be bad if I weren’t getting negative feedback from some people. But negative feedback + 0 positive feedback = feeling crummy. I need something to balance out the bad! I need someone to say “hey, karinajean, you are working hard/getting things done/always there when we need you/quite a gal.” Just throw me a bone, already.

I know I’m holding it together very very well, considering I didn’t have a comprehensive training program, and in the last 6 months I’ve had to learn a new career, a new company, and how to be a task manager complete with financials and corporate structural issues. I know I’m responsive to the clients. I know things are getting done. I just feel like I’m not doing ENOUGH, and there really isn’t any time to do it all. I need someone else to task-manage some of these projects for me. I want new, clean, not under-bid clients to work for. I want to work on projects that have a little design. I want to be able to feel like I can close my computer and go home, if not at 5, then at 5:30. SIGH.

I am blue.

old csa: week 15

almost to the end!

swiss chard, eggplant, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, cukes, radishes, and some kind of herb in a bag that I don’t recall right now.

old csa post: wk 14


another week I didn’t document well:
radishes, eggplant, habenero, jalepeno, yellow squash, hot peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, and a pattypan squash.

finally, stickers for my car!

I’ve been thinking about making this sticker myself for quite some time – I’m pretty happy that someone else did!

I’m going to order one for my civic (30+) as well as one for my anticipated insight (because I’ve been thinking, and yes, I do think I want an insight, for sure). I’ve also sent the link out to friends who may one one too, so we can share an order.


can you imagine?

I slept in until 3:30 on Sunday. Imagine that! it’s the latest I’ve ever slept, except for the time I got back from germany in highschool and slept for almost 24 hours. I was sleepy.

I had a great weekend, but I’m sad to report that the hold’em pokers found me again. so sad. I get little alerts in my email, you see, saying there’s a comment that needs approved (shout out pittsburgh!). And then it turns out that it’s not one of my incredibly fun, with-it, and rock’n’roll friends, nor is it someone from the internets who is full pithy commentary, but is, in fact, an internet spammer. OOOH. I hate the spammers. If they were a food they’d be like soured milk: you are happy that you have milk, and maybe its a pleasent surprise to find it in your fridge, but then you find it all curdly and sour in your mouth and are not only grossed out, but hugely disappointed.


This week I’ve been really trying to get it together here at work. I’m so unproductive it’s embarassing. This is why I find myself at 8:20 updating my blog. Because I am unproductive, and even though I want to BE HOME the most productivity seems to happen between the hours of 4 and 6 and honest, that’s no way to live.

Anyway, I read Getting Things Done by David Allen and have been spending a fair amount of time getting set up. I piled all kinds of things into my inbox and made a bunch of slips of paper with actions on them (I dumped my brain. It was great, and freeing, and my stack of next actions was about 1 inch thick). I printed out selected pages from the DIY Planner, and spoke to my admin point of contact about getting a dayplanner to customize. Last night I sat on the couch with the DIY planner pages and my little slips of paper spread out all around me and worked out a system that I think will be really useful. I don’t have the planner yet, but I am trying to work it from my binder clip (it’s just harder to go from page to page, and that’s kind of a hassle. Today at work I got my inbox vaguely sorted out into what they call “tickler” folders, which is supposed to be an organization system that you refer to constantly and that helps you achieve things. I ended up setting up things for invoices to approve, invoices to mark up and give to secretary, items to schedule, POs to complete, and task manager misc tasks. I hope I can keep things filed and get them done quickly that way.

The two things that seem most attractive about the Getting Things Done system are 1. it’s geared towards handling a job where you have things tossed in your lap constantly, and some of those things are on fire, and 2. it involves making a lot of lists, which I LOVE. It’s a bottom up system (unlike the Franklin Covey system, which involves setting goals for your whole life and then working towards them).

But then this morning I thought: is this new drive to organize just the best way of procrastination that I’ve ever come up with? Could be, grasshopper, could be. Know thy enemy, know thyself, indeed!

Anyway, here’s the system I’ve started to set up (and hope will be effective)

  • First section will be calendar, I bet. Once I get a day planner, or something.
  • To-Do sheet as a “To Do ASAP or drop dead!” sheet – work off of each day, and include dates. Try to keep daily only.
  • To-Do sheet for a list of calls and emails to make – work off of each day.
  • Agenda pages, for calls, PM meetings, client mtgs, etc. It’s a good brainstorming place too. Always date if possible, and review daily. Update as needed throughout the day.
  • Project Outlines, to store a rough project schedule including major tasks and dates, and job numbers. Review this weekly.
  • GTD All-In-One sheets, to list all project actions, dates if I have them, who’s working on the items now, and as the first place most things will go as I sort my inbox. Review daily.
  • Someday/Maybe lists, for things like personal errands/chores, CDs to get, books I want to read, and pie-in-the-sky dream items.
  • I’ll probably update more when I get around to it. If anyone is interested in the GTD system, there are a bunch of blogs and wikis out there. Good starting places are DIY Planner and 43 Folders.

    why trust the government?

    The question of why people think the government should help them out pre, post, and during katrina has come up in a few different places. One of my very good internet friends posted the following at a crafty chat board:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

    “…this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

    The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address, respectively. Emphasis is, of course, mine.

    she is so right.

    my stepmom and I have been bouncing back and forth ideas about the government and its role in this horrible mess. I am sure I’ve been less than eloquent about things, but as usual, our founding fathers and good old Abe Lincoln say it very beautifully. Regardless of how much we pay the Government to do these things, they ought to do them because that is why WE created it.

    no. way.

    Bush: ‘I take responsibility’ for U.S. failures

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005; Posted: 12:43 p.m. EDT (16:43 GMT)

    “Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government and to the extent the federal government didn’t fully do its job right, I take responsibility,” Bush said during a joint news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.


    now, let’s not all be too gracious about this, ok? Because to the extent that people died in the gulf coast region, I think TALKING about responsibility and TAKING responsibility are two very different birds.

    why they didn’t leave.

    props to joy for pointing me to this survivor-on-the-street article describing how hard people tried to leave, and how they were prevented with force and guns and pure hostility and meanness from doing so.

    and also, another reason why people didn’t leave: being poor. Too right.

    wedding and friends and dresses

    Sat. was Brian and Lynn’s wedding. Gabbi and Mike and Matt and I all had a lovely time.

    gabbi and mike

    kari and matt

    AND I finished sewing my dress! so relieved. I was hemming it at 1PM on Sat. when Kathleen came over and sweetly told me which shoes to wear, and also, that next time I decided to sew a dress for an event she was going to come over at least 1 week prior and sit and watch me to make sure I started making it in a timely fashion. And then we got manicures. The dress was wonderful, although it’s not very flattering from straight on and the fabric shows spots VERY EASILY. BUT it’s done, and done on time, and was quite wonderful, and dizam did the zipper come out perfectly!


    unsavory people, every one of us.

    I was on the train next to the two angriest (potentially drunkest) people ever, who were absolutely lighting into each other. The ‘gentleman’ had a fine grasp of a number of blame the victim statements, while the ‘lady’ was absolutely upset at white people and christians. She was, I think, of Southeast Asian or Indian decent. It was a mess.

    I’m getting more and more gloomy about the Katrina situation. First of off, just becasue “blame game” rhymes doesn’t make it a valid talking point, GWB and Fox News. Secondly, at what point do we stop backpedaling and actually start with ACCOUNTABILITY? the points I’ve seen raised recently are all valid, and most particularly this one: if terrorists or even hurricaine ophelia were to attack us tomorrow, would we be prepared? I really don’t think so. Maybe it comes of being a civil engineer, and BIG BROTHER THIS IS NOT A WARNING SIGN, but I see opportunities for large scale acts of violence against the United States in a lot of places. I do NOT want them to happen, and I don’t think they will, but there are so many ways to cripple a large metropolis. And after NOLA was crippled, the United States was unable to help her citizens. At this point I’m thinking if there were a terrorist attack at the beginning of August, before all of this, there would have been a terrible response and thousands dead.

    But then, that brings up a term I learned today: structural violence.

    Structural violence, a term which was first used in the 1970s and which has commonly been ascribed to Johan Galtung, denotes a form of violence which corresponds with the systematic ways in which a given social structure or social institution prevents individuals from achieving their full potential. Institutionalized elitism, ethnocentricism, classism, racism, sexism, nationalism, patriotism, stateism and ageism are just some examples of this.

    I’ve been using the term “white priviledge” a lot to foster conversation and dialogue about all the hidden racism that drives our society today. But structural violence describes exactly what happend in NOLA, the gulf coast, and why they didn’t receive any help. Exactly.

    A friend of mine said today: at what point do we stop shaking our heads and saying “oh, it’s so sad” while basically enforcing the status quo, and start saying “that didn’t have to happen. how can we keep this from happening again?” As long as people are terrified of accountability, and as long as the people in power are the ones who implement social violence with a heavy hand, well, I don’t know if we’ll be able to. But we need to start demanding answers, and to start recognizing the flaws in our culture, and to stop blaming the victim.

    A friend of mine got out of NOLA after surviving in the Bywater neighborhood until September 3rd. It broke my heart when she and another friend in CA had this exchange (my emphasis):

    Friend in CA: i just pray that all of the survivors know that there are people throughout the country who care, even if the government didn’t.

    Friend from NOLA: I know. I didn’t know how much everyone cared until I got out of that place. But now I do. And I am more thankful than I will ever be able to express.

    old CSA: wk 13


    Can’t remember what I got. This is about when I started to lose ground with the CSA. I think it’s kale, green pepper, tomato. patty pan squash, eggplant, hot peppers, and cabbage.

    CSA wk 12


    corn, pattypan squash, cucumber, little onions or shallots, peppers (red and green), tomatos, eggplant (italian and thai), kale

    So that brings us to today. Here’s a list of what’s left over:

    Wk 4: purple cabbage
    Wk 5: lemon balm or lemon mint (?), and oregano.
    Wk 8: leeks
    wk 9: hot peppers.
    wk 11: basil, sage, yellow squash, little onions, tomatos, basil, kale, green peppers, frying peppers, cucumber, cabbage, potatoes, purple eggplant
    wk 12: corn, pattypan squash, cucumber, little onions or shallots, peppers (red and green), tomatos, eggplant (italian and thai), kale

    and also a bunch of potatoes.
    I think a lot of the herbs are no good, I need to look into that.

    I’m going to make baba ganoush tonight, or at least roast all those eggplants. The kale I’ve been meaning to steam or stirfry with garlic, rough chop, and eat in a burrito. I have all the burrito stuff, just have to get to it! The new pickup is coming soon so I don’t want to have this many things just lying around!

    CSA Wk 11


    basil, sage, yellow squash, little onions, tomatos, basil, kale, green peppers, frying peppers, cucumber, cabbage, potatoes, purple eggplant

    the shares are getting smaller, but that’s fine too. and also, LOOK at these gorgeous sunflowers:

    when I showed up Farmer Susan said Hey, are you going straight home? then I’ll go cut you some flowers. How beautiful! they lasted for nearly 2 weeks, but they were THIRSTY and drank a lot of water.

    CSA Wk 9/10


    week 9: parsley, potatoes, a whole-lotta tomatoes, yellow squash, zuchinni, corn, eggplant, I think?, green peppers, kale, tomatillos, hot peppers.

    Wk 10 I was at the beach, so I asked Kathleen to pick up my veggies for me. I took the corn, zuchinni, squash, and green peppers to the beach. The tomatillos I stuck into some quacamole. The eggplant from this week and wks 7 and 8 I made into baba ganoush and brought down as well. YUM.

    CSA Wk 8


    leeks, peppers (all kinds), tomatoes, potatoes, zuchini, yellow squash, eggplant, basil, sage, and flowers, too (not shown)!

    posty mc postsalot

    I am playing catchup!

    I cannot believe I have been so slow with the CSA posting! and also, my travails with the PE exam! and my poor little car!

    here goes…

    remember the last time I got crazy?

    so, once again I’m trying to pull off a last minute sewing bonanza. I’m going to a wedding on sat. and I decided this weekend I wouldn’t even try to look for a dress, because the odds that I’d find one that 1. fit, 2. I liked, and 3. was reasonably priced were asymptotic to zero. seriously. So I pulled out a stockpiled pattern (butterick 6522), got some fabric, and last night I started cutting. again, partying kathy lee gifford style, I sit on the floor and hunch over and cut and cut and then stand up and walk around like quasimodo until I can sloooowly straighten up. yeah, I know, sewing is GLAMAROUS.

    tonight I hope I can sew the bulk of the dress, I’m having dinner with friends on Thursday and I don’t have much time to spend sewing, except for tonight. I’ll update with photos when available, for sure.